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  1. 2 things about his ankle injury – first, dont expect him back anytime soon. watch a replay and tell me you didnt cringe. second, what a stupid injury. seriously, he goes out of his way to play 200% all the time. good for him and all, but when you’re gonna be out EASILY by over 5 feet, you dont need to barrel into third base with some insane slide. it was really stupid, he caught his spikes in the dirt, and now he’s probably going to miss enough time to lose the chance to put up a truly historic season.

    Comment by brendan — July 15, 2011 @ 9:23 am

  2. Maybe I’m just overly optimistic, but reports have him day to day, and he did walk off the field on his own. I’d say he doesn’t play this weekend and is back Monday.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — July 15, 2011 @ 9:26 am

  3. His ankle injury is not bad at all. He’ll probably miss 2-3 games at most.

    Comment by J0EYWALNUTS — July 15, 2011 @ 9:28 am

  4. I’m starting to wonder… if Bautista holds up this greatness for another 2-3 seasons after this year, and then falls off quickly (’cause he’ll be in his late 30′s), might he get into the HOF? I know he’ll not have the counting stats or milestones to get in, but, might his peak be enough to get him enough votes?

    I know, probably not… but… I’m wondering how close he’ll come or if he might benefit from the newer approach to stats than simply lookin’ at his BA, HR, & RBI career totals.

    Comment by Devon Young — July 15, 2011 @ 9:28 am

  5. obviously i hope you’re right, but man that ankle roll looked baddddddddd. he also neeeded help once he hit the dugout, getting down the stairs.

    Comment by brendan — July 15, 2011 @ 9:33 am

  6. Or, on the other hand, your amatur diagnosis could turn out to be meaningless and he won’t miss much time at all.

    Comment by George — July 15, 2011 @ 9:33 am

  7. ya hopefully, it’s not like i’m cheering for him to be out. anyway, it doesn’t change the fact that the injury should have been avoided. in a blowout you shouldn’t be doing that to yourself when you’re guaranteed to be out

    Comment by brendan — July 15, 2011 @ 9:38 am

  8. It wasn’t a blowout at the time…it was 9-4 and JoJo Reyes was on the mound against the Yankees (and he soon gave up a 3R HR).

    Comment by George — July 15, 2011 @ 9:40 am

  9. (This will kind of be an old theme, but I think it’s especially applicable here)

    I definitely don’t get tired of seeing articles about how awesome Joey Bats has been. But here’s the thing about taking WAR out to 2 decimals, as I see it:

    We have three major components of WAR – hitting, fielding, and positional adjustment (and now baserunning… but let’s ignore that). If I had to rank them on a scale of 1-10 by how accurately each component truly measured value, I would say it shakes out to:

    Batting – 9.5
    Positional – 9
    Fielding – 5
    Baserunning – too new, no idea

    Fielding is a legitimate part of a ballplayers value, no matter where he is on the field. But I am almost certain that my high school Chem teacher would say that because we are including such an uncertain component, that taking even 1 decimal place may be wrong, and taking 2 is absolutely wrong, and actually makes your final number less accurate. Especially so when we are using two separate fielding metrics, depending on when the players played.

    I know this is a fun article and not meant to be any sort of rigorous study, but I’d love to see a Joey Bats article that focuses only on the hitting side, and calculate the value out from there. Since we can really nail down just how good of a season it’s been behind at the plate compared to others throughout baseball history. Leave the fielding out of it. Looking at 6.34 or 7.14 just doesn’t mean anything to me. They might as well be the same.

    Comment by Telo — July 15, 2011 @ 9:50 am

  10. Yes, one, or even none is the appropriate number of decimals to use in a rigorous research post. I only went to two decimals here to show the minute differences between the few players in Jose’s range. Obviously 6.62 is no different than 6.64, but again, this is more fun and anecdotal. So tell THAT to your damn CHEM TEACHER.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — July 15, 2011 @ 9:54 am

  11. Seriously, there is HOF talk about Bautista!!! Talk about a small sample size and a player that has a lifetime BA of .254?? One and a half great seasons don’t make a career and baseball has a hundred stories of guys that looked like world beaters for a short period of time. If this guy does this for 4-5 more years then talk about how great he is, but not now. Afeter all, Isn’t the basic tenant of good studies a robust sample size??

    Comment by Hurtlocker — July 15, 2011 @ 9:57 am

  12. They don’t have hundreds of stories of guys doing this for two seasons.

    Comment by George — July 15, 2011 @ 10:01 am

  13. Hahaha. He would give you an F+. Click.

    Comment by Telo — July 15, 2011 @ 10:02 am

  14. Morgan was obviously an awful broadcaster, but the fact is the guy knew how to hit (whether he can properly talk about it or not).

    Comment by YazInLeft8 — July 15, 2011 @ 10:09 am

  15. I don’t think he will make it into the HOF simply because 2-4 great seasons won’t get you in. You need a lot more consistency.

    That being said, I think the HOF benchmarks need to be reconsidered in this baseball age.

    For pitchers for example, the 300 win mark is definitely unreachable these days and will have to be fixed to 250 or so.

    For hitters, I think the 500 homer mark and 3000 hit mark are OK, but there needs to be another metric. Home run hitters are going to be judged on the 500 homer mark, while slap hitters like Ichiro and Jeter will be based on the 3K hit mark. But how about those players in between?

    Comment by Josh — July 15, 2011 @ 10:12 am

  16. But yet, Tim McCarver remains employed…

    Comment by SC2GG — July 15, 2011 @ 10:16 am

  17. His OPS+ is the 18th best since 1900, behind only Bonds, Ruth, Williams, Hornsby, Mantle and Gehrig. It’s the third-best season by an actual human being since Jackie Robinson.

    Comment by Cam — July 15, 2011 @ 10:20 am

  18. Complaining about random baseball metrics by comparing them to something your chem teacher wouldn’t like is literally scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of complaining about things.

    Comment by SC2GG — July 15, 2011 @ 10:20 am

  19. any game jo-jo reyes enters becomes a save situation

    Comment by juan pierre's mustache — July 15, 2011 @ 10:21 am

  20. The scientific term for it is “significant figures”. The Chem teacher bit was a joke, since it was probably the last time many of us have actually had to formally apply this method.

    Comment by Telo — July 15, 2011 @ 10:23 am

  21. OPS+ is pretty useless compared to wRC+ though.

    Comment by Telo — July 15, 2011 @ 10:24 am

  22. But you continuing attempts to troll me are… noted.

    Comment by Telo — July 15, 2011 @ 10:24 am

  23. If Bautista did this for four-five years, he’d be one of the greatest players of all time.

    Comment by Jerome S. — July 15, 2011 @ 10:25 am

  24. OPSBIs could be a funny junk stat if there was a way to look at OPS (or its components, or even linear weights) and somehow come up with a context-neutral RBI total a la xBABIP.

    Sounds like a job for Cistulli…

    Comment by Adam W — July 15, 2011 @ 10:33 am

  25. Frank Thomas 1994 is one of the most amazing partial seasons ever. His traditional stats of .353, 38 HR, 101 RBI, 106 R, 109 BB, 61 K make for a great season that would have got him MVP consideration if accumulated over a full season even in that era. He did that in 113 games!

    Comment by MikeS — July 15, 2011 @ 10:43 am

  26. Interesting idea, I don’t know that it would really be helpful for anyone though really. I mean, just about everyone here knows that RBI are pretty useless. Some team/park/league adjusted version of RBI would tell us nothing wOBA or wRC+ doesn’t already.
    More importantly, it would never catch on in the MSM. Any time you take a traditional stat and make it even marginally advanced (think OPS -> OPS+), they cower away and deem it useless (at least most of them do).

    Comment by Levi — July 15, 2011 @ 10:47 am

  27. day-to-day is code for, “keep buying tickets for home games.”

    Comment by Barkey Walker — July 15, 2011 @ 10:52 am

  28. Telo, I think, is basically right. WAR is certainly a much better stat than, say, OPS, but like OPS it has a fundamental “apples and oranges” flaw: in this case, the plain fact that “replacement” means something different for hitting and fielding. A player who can’t hit at all will not have a career no matter how well he fields, whereas Jason Giambi has played 2000 MLB games.

    Comment by Mr Punch — July 15, 2011 @ 10:55 am

  29. “He essentially matched his production from a year ago in half of a season.” Your confusing above replacement from above zero. His excess production above replacement is matched from a year ago in half a season. You can make these statements about wRC (I’d give you 2011 vs 2010), but not WAR.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — July 15, 2011 @ 11:07 am

  30. Bautista would need to put up a decade of great numbers to have a chance at the Hall of Fame. I think Luis Gonzalez is a good comp, and there is no way Gonzo is making it to Cooperstown.

    Comment by GMH — July 15, 2011 @ 11:24 am

  31. Maybe xRBI could be a useful stat? Base it off of their stats and see what their production would be in an average situation

    Comment by OmnImpotent — July 15, 2011 @ 11:30 am

  32. No, he wouldn’t. He would be similar to Chuck Klein, who was the anti-Bautista. Klein’s career nose-dived after he hit 30, but he had one of the greatest starts of any MLB player. Klein’s numbers from 1929 to 1933, even when accounting for the hitter-friendly context of the era, are just sick. And Bautista hasn’t even put up one full comparable season yet.

    Comment by GMH — July 15, 2011 @ 11:31 am

  33. david wright was also day to day…3 months ago.

    Comment by david — July 15, 2011 @ 11:46 am

  34. So playing hard no matter what because you want to win and be the best is now stupid? It’s a problem to play “200%” (even though that’s not possible)? It was a freak occurrence that he caught a spike in the dirt, not some bone-headed play. He makes that slide a hundred times out of a hundred and nothing happens, it was a freak incident. He plays hard to win and if you’re going to fault him for not taking a play off, then you neglect the fact that he failed miserably in the majors for roughly 6 seasons, when he had to go balls out all the time just to justify his playing time. He’s not going to stop doing that just because he earns a big pay cheque now

    Comment by Falcon — July 15, 2011 @ 11:54 am

  35. WAR calculation is based on plate appearances, too.

    Comment by Drew — July 15, 2011 @ 11:57 am

  36. “A player who can’t hit at all will not have a career no matter how well he fields”

    Ummm I’m not sure Mets fans would agree with that statement Mr. Punch.

    Comment by Rey Ordonez — July 15, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

  37. Luis Gonzalez had 5 good years, only one of which was exceptional, right in the heart of the steroid era. He only placed in the top 15 for MVP voting once and would be lucky to even make the top 10 list of players from that 5 year span.

    Bautista is all alone right now. He’s the only guy hitting home runs and he’s added a freakish OBP to that. If he keeps it up until he’s 35 and then fades out gracefully, he could end up with 400 career homers, .280/.400/.550 splits and a few MVP awards. That’s easily Hall caliber.

    Comment by Scott — July 15, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

  38. Bats hasn’t had a comparable season to Klein?

    And it’s bc of some reason other than the 80 years of baseball that seperates them? Not seeing it….

    Comment by mike oo — July 15, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  39. Thanks Mr. Punch….My phone is ringing off the hook. Rafael Belliard, Alberto Castillo, John McDonald, Jeff Mathis…..The calls keep on coming!

    Comment by Rey Ordonez — July 15, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  40. I did a Community Post on this, but I’m fairly certain the answer is no, which makes this sort of season all the more rare.

    Comment by The Nicker — July 15, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  41. Good point, good point.

    Comment by Jason B — July 15, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

  42. ya it’s a freak accident that could have been avoided. the same way lots of players gracefull step out of the way during a double play (on the run to second) when they’re going to obviously be out. do you fault them for that? no, it’s just called not being stupid by pointlessly continuing to charge in and slide for no reason to risk hurting yourself. you want evidence that it’s possible? go watch the replay from his injury. he wants to play hard so he can help his team? good for him, he better hope he didn’t tear or break anything while trying to help his team maintain that 9-4 lead.

    Comment by brendan — July 15, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

  43. Telo – nice Tenacious D reference.

    Comment by DD — July 15, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

  44. baseball has a hundred stories of guys that looked like world beaters for a short period of time


    No. Baseball has maybe 50 examples of this kind of two-year stretch, period. Examples of a guy having a stretch like this and then falling back to earth? A couple at most.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — July 15, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

  45. John MacDonald says “Hi!”

    Comment by siggian — July 15, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

  46. What’s hilarious is how Joe Morgan The Broadcaster has no appreciation for Joe Morgan The Player.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — July 15, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

  47. Glad someone got it…

    Comment by Telo — July 15, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

  48. He’ll be caught just like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, A-rod, Lance Armstrong etc.

    “CAN’T WAIT” – Bart Scott

    Comment by west — July 15, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

  49. 100′s is an exaggeration indeed, my apologies. It’s also a gross exaggeration to get caught up in the fenzy of making this guy the greatest ever after 1 1/2 years, discussion of the HOF and other hyperbole. Many players (not 100′s of course) have had flashs of greatness over short periods, but the proof is in the ability to maintain that greatness.

    Comment by Hurtlocker — July 15, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

  50. RBI+: scale their actual baserunners (1st, 2nd and 3rd) vs. the league average? Or something like that?

    Comment by buddy — July 15, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

  51. you’ll be able to tell how many people read this far down in the comments by how many negative votes this gets.

    Comment by TK — July 15, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

  52. So does the entire Mariners franchise for the past 18 months.

    Comment by test — July 15, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  53. Him and Bagwell in 1994 have a legitimate gripe with the player’s union. If either of their Hall cases fall short because they don’t have the full-season totals that they would have achieved there, the BBWAA should be even more embarrassed with themselves than usual.

    Comment by Sitting Curveball — July 15, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

  54. So I think we all need a daily reminder of how good Barry Bonds was. Thanks, Eric.

    Comment by Sitting Curveball — July 15, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

  55. He was a cheating piece of crap, fuck you

    Comment by west — July 15, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

  56. GO CHEATERS!!!

    Go fall off a cliff

    Comment by west — July 15, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

  57. I think we’ll have to wait and see. If the current depressed run environment continues, and 2010′s “Year of the Pitcher” becomes the 20-teens “Decade of the Pitcher,” then a sustained performance like Bautista’s — assuming it lasts a few more years, even if not quite at this peak — may stand in even sharper relief. It may not look quite so good to the old guys guarding the hall right now, but in 15 years some of them will be dead, and our perceptions may certainly have shifted. We still have yet to come to a consensus regarding players from the steroid era; it’s far too early to judge those from the “post-PED” era (if indeed that is what we’ve entered).

    Comment by joser — July 15, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  58. I know this was meant as a joke (and I chuckled, imagining the “all hands on deck” in the bullpen even as he throws his warm-up pitches before the first inning), but it’s kind of intriguing alternative to the idiotic save stat: assuming the pitching team is is not losing at the moment, then — given the on-field state, the pitcher on the mound, and the opposing offense — how likely is the game to be tied by the 9th inning? If the answer is at least 50%, it’s a save situation. So when just about any Royals starter takes the mound against the Red Sox, he’s eligible.

    Comment by joser — July 15, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

  59. If the BBWAA knew how to be embarrassed with themselves they all would’ve quit long ago.

    Comment by joser — July 15, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

  60. ^^This!!

    Comment by Jason B — July 15, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

  61. Please tell me you are not taking WAR out to 2 decimal places…..

    Taking the # out to 1 decimal place is bad enough… but going to hundreths on a # which has that huge an error bar? (unless you are that confident in the accuracy of 1/2 seasons of UBR and UZR #’s?)

    I think the best we can do is say he’s in the 6-7 range (like everyone else on the list). Anything else is not really assessing or understanding the error bar on a half season WAR #

    Comment by Hank — July 15, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

  62. And if he’d just left it at that — “they’re all in the 6-7 range” there’d be twice as many comments on here complaining that they weren’t all equivalent, or demanding they be ranked, or going ahead and taking it out to as many decimal places as necessary to come to numerical ordering. You can’t win.

    Comment by joser — July 15, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

  63. i wonder when they’re gonna start testing him for roids…

    Comment by disygi — July 15, 2011 @ 8:30 pm

  64. Probably about -5 years from now.

    Comment by RussNeverSleeps — July 15, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

  65. I doubt that he was running/sliding that hard just trying to be safe; he was probably trying to break up the double play. Can’t fault him for that.

    Comment by gaweenbob — July 15, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

  66. TIL

    Josh Reddick is twice the player Joey Bats is, per Fangraphs SSS defensive standards (Hi, Gutierrez, Crawford and Gardner!).

    Comment by Sultan of Schwinngg — July 15, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

  67. Not sure I get your point. WAR is about value above replacement, wRc is about production. To provide “twice the production” you would need twice the wRc. Two provide twice the excess production over a replacement level player, you would need twice the WAR.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — July 15, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

  68. 30 year old Sabathia has 170 wins. Assuming he stays in NY, there’s almost no possible way he doesn’t win 300 games.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwinngg — July 15, 2011 @ 11:55 pm

  69. god the roid narrative is fucking tiring about bautista

    Comment by jim — July 16, 2011 @ 12:24 am

  70. Something the ‘you’re as historically great or terrible as what you have done lately’ crowd should keep in mind, in regards to Mr. Bats: There is another player that comes to mind who had a run of similar PA’s over an equivalent time period; his name is Brady Anderson.

    Bautista’s had an incredible run, no doubt, but all this fawning over him is premature. If I were to guess, I’d guess that it would take just one month of .700 ball before criticism about his being resigned for big bucks would begin.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwinngg — July 16, 2011 @ 12:25 am

  71. not sure what your point is here… are you trolling/sarcastic?

    even if you’re being serious, you can’t really apply 400 innings of UZR and make any sort of judgment at all

    Comment by jim — July 16, 2011 @ 12:25 am

  72. or he could just DH as soon as the ankle back to like 75%.
    no reason he cant swing a bat with a brace and just take it easy o the base paths.

    but really this doesnt appear to be anything that requires more than 3-4 days to heal enough to play on. ive rolled my ankle countless times playing soccer, baseball, skim boarding etc and the only time it took more than a week in order to heal enough to play, i couldnt put any wait on it… turned out to be a slight fracture.
    Bautista walked off the field without problem which is a great sign.

    Comment by cs3 — July 16, 2011 @ 1:32 am

  73. Sarcastic.

    Reddick has 1.6 WAR w/ 60 PA. Extrapolate that over a full season (which Fangraphs does all the time) and he’s the league’s best player.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwinngg — July 16, 2011 @ 7:42 am

  74. Find me an article that made a full season projection based on a sample size of 60 PA – and no, ESPN articles don’t count – only Fangraphs’

    Comment by Pretentious Porcelain Poodle — July 16, 2011 @ 10:22 am

  75. He’s a Thunder God. T.G. Bautista

    Comment by Templeton1979 — July 16, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

  76. Brett Gardner was referred to as the 4th best outfielder in MLB primarily because of his UZR tab through one season . If you’re going to argue that there’s much difference between that SS and Reddick’s SS when 400+ games is the benchmark, I’m not listening.

    Same with Crawford, same with Guiterrez, prior. Same with Joey Bats, an ugly defender who has somehow managed a 36.8 UZR/150 at 3B, which, even though is only 20% of his total defensive UZR/150, still accounts for 20% of that total, and WAR.

    I guess I’m being somewhat of a prick for bringing this SSS crap up often, but I think it’s bizarre how the most popular (dare I say, closest mainstream) Fangraph’s stat is being constantly misapplied by its own writers.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwinngg — July 16, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

  77. To me, this immediately brings to mind Ralph Kiner, and I’d say if he is in the ballpark of Kiner’s counting stats, that might be enough to get him in. Like the other commenters, I generally think a longer timeline of success is required, but if he is arguably the best hitter in all of MLB each season over a 5-6 year span, that would be an exceptional circumstance, and Kiner is somewhat of a precedent. Koufax is another late bloomer with a relatively brief period of excellence.

    Comment by James — July 16, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

  78. One thing any decent CEO has in common is they are all wary of adjusted stats and estimators, especially those that make no attempt to estimate error.

    RBI’s always change the scoreboard, and are an absolute number, meaning the number is accurate and not estimated or adjusted. Theoretical estimators and uncertain adjusted stats (especially park) have issues, and the last I checked, the scoreboard does not increase 0.3 runs when JD works a walk with men on 2nd and 3rd..

    The main complaint about RBI’s is that those who have more opportunities with ROB have higher totals of all RBI’s. The key assumption for those who ridicule RBI’s is that they are entirely luck, because players do not have clutch skills, or unclutch. This assumption is unproven.

    You can use OBI% to adjust for opportunity, but it’s funny how the RBI haters choose not to.

    RBI’s are not be a good indicator for evaluating talent or predicting future performance. They are useful when you talk about MVP, and want to know those who produce the most ACTUAL runs for their team, as opposed to those who produce THEORETICAL context neutral runs for a league average team in a lineup of league average hitters.

    In other words, RBI’s have value in MVP discussions, even if they have little value in best player discussions (at least not without considering opportunity). That is a key distinction.

    Comment by pft — July 17, 2011 @ 2:20 am

  79. Bautista is rule the people of Toronto

    Comment by Danaerys Dies — July 18, 2011 @ 2:37 am

  80. Re: CC

    Assuming he can continue to post ~16 wins per year, he’s going to have to pitch until he’s 39 to break 300, and this is assuming no major injuries in that time period, which seems generous. Otherwise he might have to continue until he’s 40. Good as he is, I’m not convinced his overweight body is going to hold out with A1 health over that period.

    I’d say it’s fairly unlikely he’ll see 300.

    Comment by Felonius_Monk — July 18, 2011 @ 9:06 am

  81. I see absolutely no way whatsoever that the Big Hurt fails to make it – he’s an absolute shoe-in IMO, maybe not a first ballot guy but he gets there. Bagwell, though, you might have a point…

    Comment by Felonius_Monk — July 18, 2011 @ 9:11 am

  82. Here is an article predicting the death of Jorge Posada based on about ten swings:

    Comment by Jason — July 18, 2011 @ 10:25 am

  83. Not sure why you are assuming a 16 win avg when he’s led the league every year in wins since becoming a Yankee, and is showing no signs of slowing down. I’d rather use a 20 win avg, which means by the time he’s 36 (and half way through his contract :)), he’ll have 271 wins.

    Also, Wells, and this:
    “fat pitchers have much more staying power than any other group”

    I really think 300 is in the bag for the huge lug if he chooses to stay in NY.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwwingg — July 22, 2011 @ 12:48 am

  84. Thank you! My pet peeve! Joe Morgan’s pathetic swing analyses. I wonder how many young hitters have been thrown off the rails by listening to Joe Morgan broadcast games.

    Comment by corey — July 22, 2011 @ 4:07 am

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